Scientists in the Division of Ocean and Climate Physics (OCP) delve into the mysteries of Earth's climate in order to document its change and to build an understanding of its controlling forces. Climate change is a crucial factor that has influenced human history over the ages. Therefore, reliable prediction is vital both to humankind's future and to the well-being of the planet. > more

The Exotic Seas of Southeast Asia

A truly unique part of the ocean’s geography is the seas of Southeast Asia: the Java Sea, the Sulu Sea and the South China Sea.  Stretching more than 2800 miles from Australia to southeast Asia, with more than 20000 islands, the constraints of narrow passages and seas, with varied sizes and depths, represents an interesting challenge to our understanding of ocean processes.  Through these southeast Asian seas tropical Pacific water weaves its way into the Indian Ocean which affects the characteristics of such well known climate phenomena as El Niño and the Asian monsoon.

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Northern hemisphere winter snow anomalies: ENSO, NAO and the winter of 2009/10

Writing in July 2010 when the eastern U.S. has been having one heat wave after another, it is easy to forget the winter just past, but winter 2009/10 was one of record snow in much of the mid-Atlantic region and very cold conditions across eastern North America. There was also widespread cold and snow in northwestern Europe.  At the time, as record snowfall hit Washington D.C., this was a big deal much exploited by climate deniers and others to ridicule global warming and climate science. Of course that confused climate and weather and took a rather regional perspective - failing, for example, to note the lack of snow in the Pacific Northwest or the warm temperatures in the subpolar and polar regions. Nonetheless it is always a good idea to try to explain anomalous seasonal weather both to search for any predictability and also to educate the wider public about causes and to offset attempts to exploit weather events to derail efforts to tackle climate change.

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Antarctic Sea Ice Forecast

Antarctic sea ice seasonal forecasts based on a linear Markov model are in high demand for both observational and climate communities. They are provided by Xiaojun Yuan and Dake Chen.

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